Thin Blue Line!

Thanks to The Thin Blue Line Blog (TTBL) (amongst others); there is a wealth of data available to debunk all the rhetoric that trips off tongues of Senior Police Officers and Government officials. Manipulated ‘truth’ and ‘spin’ about policing today which is often little more than brass faced lies.

TTBL has recently completed an in-depth report on the subject of response policing numbers (or lack of them). Apparently most forces had come up with some lie excuse explanation to disguise quantify their figures. The full report summary is produced below:

  • Of the 144,469 FTE officers returned by the FOI requests, at best, 60,181 officers, just 42% are committed to response activity.
  • From evidence disclosed by the forces, the more realistic number is in the region of 30% – 43,341 officers.
  • Divide that number by four to account for shift patterns and rest days, leaves 10,835 officers to police a population in excess of 54 million.
  • Factor in annual leave of 25 days per annum per officer reduces the number still further.
  • Factor in sickness at 3.7% and course attendance.
  • Police officers are spending no more time on the street now than they were two years ago, despite a series of initiatives intended slash paperwork and get them out of stations.
  • Home Office figures show that in 2007-08 officers spent just 13.8 per cent of their time on patrol, which does not include attending incidents, down from 15.3 per cent in 2004-05. That is the equivalent of one hour in an average eight-hour shift, or fewer than six in a 40-hour week.
  • By contrast, officers spent more than a fifth of their time on paperwork (21.7 per cent), up from 18.4 per cent over the same period and the equivalent of more than eight hours in a 40-hour week.

I had to dive into the report and see how North Yorkshire Police had responded to the Freedom of Information Act request…

North Yorkshire – Response contained: “At any point 343 actual Response Officers” 

Now as a retired N.Yorks officer I am bound by what is in effect a legal ‘gagging order’ that prevents me from talking about operational policing specifics and, my wife still works for the force so I wouldn’t want to make her life at work difficult. However, based upon my knowledge and experience it would be sufficient to say; the figure of 343 would appear (in my opinion) to be excessively optimistic!!!

Will this latest information make a difference? The Police Federation have been trying to highlight the problem for several years and they have been ignored so, I doubt it 😦

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